In some aspects I am very old-fashioned. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy technological advances and make full use of them. Would I have had the courage to move to China 30 years ago, when e-mail and Skype didn’t exist and the only way to keep in touch with your family and friends was writing letters that took a month to arrive, or making very expensive phone calls? I don’t know. But for sure it would have been more difficult. Nowadays if you miss your mum you just have to whatsapp or viber her. Very convenient!
When I was young I loved writing letters. Every summer, when I was away from my hometown for 3 months, my friends and I exchanged letters. They were a lot of fun. I still keep them all in a box at my parents’ place and I like re-reading them from time to time.
But the internet has basically killed conventional mail. No one writes letters anymore, it seems like a waste of time. And I think it is very sad, as nothing can replace the joy of finding a little hand-written envelope in your mailbox. I used to love checking our mailbox every day.
However I have to confess I almost stopped using snail mail too. Now I only use it for special occasions, for example some birthdays. But I still like writing postcards when I travel somewhere. The first time C. and I went to Hong Kong together we bought a couple of postcards, wrote them while we were having lunch in a restaurant (without peeking what the other was writing!) and sent to each other. We received them when we were back in Suzhou.
These past summers, when I traveled to England and Portugal, unfortunately without C., I sent him postcards. They usually arrive when I’m already back, but he doesn’t expect them and his excitement is totally worth it. Even though I can’t see his face when he receives them because I send them to his office, but the moment he sees them I get a lot of crying and hearts through Wechat emojis.
What about you? Do you still use conventional mail at all?